Gateshead civil engineers taking centre stage with second investment from North East Fund

Uploaded by in Recent Investments, Growth Capital Fund on March 4, 2021

A longstanding North East civil engineering firm is taking greater control of its future after winning a second investment from the £120m North East Fund.

G&B Civil Engineering provides civil engineering, construction, drainage and maintenance services for a wide range of well-known public and private sectors organisations, as both a sub-contractor and increasingly as a main contractor.

The Gateshead-based firm worked with regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers last year to secure a £50,000 investment from the North East Small Loan Fund Supported By The European Regional Development Fund to allow it to extend its design and commercial resources.

And it has now gone back to NEL for a £250,000 investment, this time from the North East Growth Capital Fund via the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, to provide the resources it requires to take on more and bigger projects as a main contractor.

Half a dozen new jobs have already been created as part of the business’s development plans, including the recruitment of a new project manager and commercial manager, and more are expected to follow through the year.

G&B Civil Engineering, which is aiming to increase its annual turnover by around 25 per cent to around £3m through its present financial year, was referred to NEL by Michael Cook of Newcastle-based corporate advisors Irving Ramsay.

Founded 30 years ago this year, its 28-strong team predominantly works across its native North East, as well as in Cumbria and North Yorkshire.

It is run by managing director James Riley, who did his initial engineering training with the firm during his summer vacations from university in the 1990s before rejoining the firm in his present position three years ago.

G&B has provided planned and reactive maintenance services for the Tyne and Wear Metro and Shields Ferry for the last nine years, and is currently working on fertiliser manufacturer Brineflow’s new purpose-built, multi-million pound terminal at the Port of Sunderland.

It has recently been appointed by Newcastle City Council to its framework for repairs and maintenance for drainage services.

James Riley says: “We’re coming out of the pandemic in good shape, with lots of demand for our services and opportunities to develop the business, and we’re now aiming to step up into the main contractor role wherever we can.

“As well as benefiting us as a business, taking on projects as a main contractor allows us to add more value to the services we provide for our clients and to have a greater direct influence on how operations are planned and carried out.

“Our highly-skilled team has succeeded over the years by delivering projects on time and on budget, and scaling up our operations in this ambitious manner will give them more of an opportunity to make their mark on the work we undertake.

“Working with the NEL team has been a straightforward process from the off and they have a good understanding of both how the sector operates and what we’re looking to achieve in it.”

Jane Siddle, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “G&B has a solid track record, a highly-skilled workforce and a robust business plan in place for taking more control of its work and delivering on its growth ambitions.

“We’re seeing an increasing number of investees coming back to us after achieving their initial growth objectives and taking second investments which underpin the next stages of their development, which reinforces the importance of having a strong flow of growth capital available to ambitious businesses.”

The North East Growth Capital Fund has been designed to create around 790 jobs in more than 70 regional firms over the life of the programme and offers unsecured investments of up to £500,000 to established businesses looking to realise their growth potential.

The overarching £120m North East Fund will provide financial support for more than 600 businesses, creating around 3,500 jobs and delivering a legacy of up to £80m for further investment into the region.

For more information about NEL’s investment criteria, visit or contact the investment team on 0345 369 7007.

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